As we look to the next school year, we reflect on our impromptu distance learning experience: what worked, what didn't and how to create a well-rounded educational strategy in the face of another potential COVID outbreak. Please make sure in all your planning you include a comprehensive communication plan for your stakeholders that details and explains your plans.
Not only must school leaders collaborate on plans that address all students' unique learning needs, but those plans must then be shared with everyone involved: board and staff members, families, local media and community partners. So how on earth do you do that?! Bit by bit and thoughtfully.
Once you have formulated a comprehensive in-person and virtual learning plan that your board has approved, it's time to share with your staff. Here are a few things to consider when it comes to communicating that plan:
Remember: No matter how hard you work on a plan to address the many needs your students and families have, you will NOT please every single person. That just isn't humanly possible, and it will just bring you unneeded stress, disappointment and frustration. As long as you communicate with your patrons regularly, listen to their concerns and address them as honestly and transparently as possible, you are doing the best you can. Your primary focus is that your students' learning needs are being met, your staff has what they need to do their job successfully and everyone's safety is being addressed.
Additionally, every school will have students with underlying health conditions who simply will not be able to return to a brick-and-mortar school building for a while, so it's critical that your virtual learning plan is solid and will still provide those students with access to the curriculum and to their teachers so their academic growth continues.
This is in no way is an easy process; we're charting unknown territory, and we're going to make mistakes. But that's why we have to evaluate our work and students' needs throughout the school year, correct things as we go and make sure we keep our families and communities informed throughout the process. Communities will no doubt want to support your schools wherever they can, so constant communication will be your friend as you move forward.
Please remember we are here to support you in all aspects and stages of your plan, so let us know how we can help.
About a year ago, we traveled with a small group from Oklahoma City to Indianapolis to explore the potential of collective impact. “This work moves at the speed of trust,” we were told and “data should be used as a flashlight, not a hammer.”
Well, we’re back to school, and I know many of you are still racing around trying to get back into the groove. Not only are you trying to get lessons planned and students reacclimatized to procedures, but you're also trying to get comfortable with the technology we use.
The Office of the Oklahoma Attorney General's recent filing gives us some insight into the thought processes moving forward into the RP 25 hearing on June 11, 2018. The AG’s Office declares that RP 25 is clear enough to move onto the November, 2018 ballot if the signatures are collected.
As a former administrator, I know being a principal or a superintendent is...